The Office of Special Counsel (OSC) — not related to the recently closed Mueller Special Counsel — called for Kellyanne Conway’s firing in a report released Thursday, citing numerous violations of the Hatch Act.
The Hatch Act, a federal law passed in 1939, prevents certain political activities of federal employees in their capacity as government workers.
According to the OSC, Conway repeatedly violated the Hatch Act by “disparaging Democratic presidential candidates while speaking in her official capacity during television interviews and on social media.”
The report goes on to say:
Ms. Conway’s violations, if left unpunished, would send a message to all federal employees that they need not abide by the Hatch Act’s restrictions. Her actions thus erode the principal foundation of our democratic system—the rule of law.
The Trump Administration, obviously, didn’t take kindly to the OSC’s report, labeling it as partisan ridiculousness:
The Office of Special Counsel’s (OSC) unprecedented actions against Kellyanne Conway are deeply flawed and violate her constitutional rights to free speech and due process. Others, of all political views, have objected to the OSC’s unclear and unevenly applied rules which have a chilling effect on free speech for all federal employees
While some may dismiss the White House’s response as rubbish, something in the OSC’s statement must be noted: when they assert that Conway must be fired because it would “send a message to all federal employees that they need not abide by the Hatch Act’s restrictions,” they seem to have a conveniently short memory.
One need only do a simple Google search to find that Obama-era Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro also allegedly violated the Hatch Act, yet he kept his job.
Would it not be plausible to suggest, then, that the standard which the OSC claims President Trump is on the brink of setting had already been set by former President Obama?